Spending last week painting the shutters on our future home was like giving a pig a makeover. The property may be without heating, lighting or plumbing but, hey, the shutters look pretty.
Or, at least, some of them do.
They’d not been touched for years and we struggled to get some of them off their hooks. The builder has said he’ll have a go at the ones we couldn’t manage – and if that doesn’t work, we’ll hire a cherry-picker.
We’ve opted for a turquoise paint. It’s a lovely colour and we might have picked something like it anyway, but we didn’t have an entirely free hand.
Each village that falls within a protected area has its own colour palette. Belvès is no exception – and its palette has no less than 12 reds and browns, as well as eight sandy/ochre colours, four greys and nine greens.
We were drawn to RAL 6034, pastel turquoise.
We’ll team it with the greyest grey from the palette, RAL 7001.
There are also strict instructions on how you can decorate the exterior of your home if you’re using more than one colour. We had our choices signed off by the architectes des bâtiments de France long before ever we picked up a paintbrush.
Woe betide you if you paint your home the wrong colour.
A friend of ours unwittingly made this mistake when she first moved to France. Two days later there was a knock at her door.
“The mayor would like to see you,” a local councillor told her.
When she went to the mairie, she was made to feel like a naughty schoolgirl – and told by the mayor that he expected her to repaint her shutters and door white.
Just like his.
Although his demands were a bit unimaginative, I rather like the idea of having a village colour palette. That way, the colours used shouldn’t jar with each other.
We’ll wait till we’ve done all the shutters before we hang them. Given that the property has no heating, that will also allow the paint to dry thoroughly.
We’re back down in early February, so that’s when we’ll reveal them to the village. Hopefully, by that time, our future home will be less porcine too…